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Communications problems with a HP 890C printer

Posted on 2004-04-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have a HP 890C printer that was connected to a Pentium II 233 MHz. Now, I'm trying to connect it to my new computer, an Athlon XP 1700 and it does not pass the bidirectional communication test. I connected an Epson printer to this computer and it operates without any flaw. The problem is not in my new computer or the cable. Also, the 890C operates properly on the old computer. Any hint?
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Question by:PauserRJ
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10802373
Boot the PC and go into its BIOS and look at the Parrallel port settings you will see it can be set to either BiTronics, EPP or ECC try it on each setting?

Pete
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10802376
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by:PauserRJ
ID: 10802687
Thank you for your prompt answer. Yes, I checked all the BIOS combinations available in my Soyo SY-K7VTA Pro motherboard. And, YES, I have the latest driver from HP - dj885en.exe (4.43 Mb).
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by:Pete Long
ID: 10802719
Well weve covered the obvious, next tip (swap out the printer lead), a lot of modern PC's DONT like the older bitronics standard cables.

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by:PauserRJ
ID: 10805736
Well, my cable is the most expensive I've ever seen, because I bought it from HP. I suppose, considering the premium price, that it is not lobotomized. Don't you think this can be related to the handshaking between computer and printer? I'm imagining the possibility that the 890C BIOS is not bright enough to add wait states for communication with faster computers. So far, just a hypothesis.

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by:briancassin
ID: 10809768
You did not mention what operating system you are using I am assuming windows XP since it is a new computer...

Your Bios needs to be set for ECP for the parallel port
In device manager in windows under ports the LPT port should be listed as ECP if it is not remove it from device manager hit refresh and then reinstall it as standard port types ECP.

Also the price of the cable really does not matter. The two things that matter is the total length cannot be over 10feet and it must say IEEE1284 on the cable this will be imprinted on the cable itself or on the connectors if it does not say this try obtaining an IEEE1284 printer cable no more then 10feet in length.

If you have this connected to a switchbox remove it from there.
If this is a laptop computer make sure you have the laptop removed from the docking station when you are trying to print.

Also when installing make sure any other applications you have running are shutdown sometimes these can give false error conditions. Go to start run type msconfig hit enter then go to the startup tab write down everything that is checked on a piece of paper or unchecked whichever is easier. then uncheck everything. hit apply then ok then reboot. When you reboot you will get a message saying you are using a diagnostic mode of windows ignore this and continue on. Uninstall the software if already loaded if not then go ahead and install as per HP's instructions bt follow their instructions exactly.

When you say yes you have the latest driver you have the 885 deskjet listed above...this is not the correct driver if you have the 890c and if you are running windows xp then their is no need to download a driver according to HP's website you should just be able to go to start control panel printers & faxes click on add a printer select local next then lpt1 then next then select hp from the manufacturer's list and then select 890c from the right hand side and then click next and then either print a test page or not then finish.

see here
http://h20015.www2.hp.com/en/softwareList.jhtml?reg=&cc=us&prodId=dj890c&lc=en&plc=&softitem=Microsoft%20Windows%20XP&sw_lang=en&pagetype=software

if you click on printer driver information and instructions it then puts you over to these instructions
http://h20015.www2.hp.com/hub_search/document.jhtml;jsessionid=VMPF5ZX30DVMVQFIOGBEPLQ?reg=na&cc=us&docName=bpd09005&lc=en

so something is not correct from what you are explaining either you are using the wrong driver, an older version from another Operating System such as windows 98 or following the wrong installation procedure.
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by:briancassin
ID: 10809772
Forgot to mention after you are done installing the printer driver go back into msconfig and recheck everything you unchecked in the previous steps/ instructions.
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by:PauserRJ
ID: 10809851
Sorry, Brian. I missed to point that I'm using Windows 98SE (USA version). I can't upgrade to XP because I have a Genius HR5 scanner that operates on a scsi proprietary board (ISA). It's is faster and has better resolution than most parallel and USB modern scanners, but has no driver for WinXP. I didn't want to lose that scanner and so I bought a Soyo SY-K7VTA Pro (it has an ISA slot) and an Athlon XP 1700. Everything else can be changed, not the scanner.

Repeating the strange aspects of the problem: the HP 890C printer operates properly in an old Pentium 233. All the printers connected to the XP 1700 work flawlessly, with the obvious exception of the 890C.
Needless to say I'm always using the same printer cable.
Thank you for your help!
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briancassin earned 125 total points
ID: 10810519
So both computers then are windows 98 ?

Also that really does not mean anything that the cable works on the one computer. Like I said it has to say IEEE1284 on the cable your printer REQUIRES this type of cable it may work with other types parallel cables that are not IEEE1284. However, without using the IEEE1284 standarized cables their is no guarantee that your printer will work properly. So check the cable if it does not say it on the cable get one that does, and yes it can operate fine on one computer and not another if the cable is not IEEE1284 compliant. This is why you want one that is IEEE1284 compliant because it is reliable on all systems for parallel communication to a printer. The IEEE1284 specification requires that all cables manufactured by all manufacturers with this specification meet the exact same criteria such as the type of insulation, condutor, signal attenuation, power, signal, pinout etc... ones that are not IEEE1284 compliant could use inferior wire in the cable that is prone to interference or unreliable signal, Inferior insulation etc...
So the IEEE1284 is not optional it is a requirement...
Think of it this way would you buy an electrical appliance and plug it into your outlet at your house if it wasn't UL listed ?  obviously not it could be problematic or even worse start a fire. Not that using a non IEEE cable will cause a fire... but it will be problematic.


As far as the BIOS is concerned it needs to be ECP
As far as the Device manager under ports com & lpt the lpt port needs to be set for ECP
The driver you are using if being used on windows 98 is correct. However you should install it like I said above with all of your background programs disabled by going into msconfig. Printer drivers can be corrupted easily by other things interfering with the installation.

You also said "All printers connected to the Athlon work flawlessly except the 890c" what other printers do you have connected to the computer and to what ports ?

Is the printer running through a switchbox or is it directly connected to LPT1 ?

Are you swapping different printers to LPT1 if so what manufacturer and model ?  
(if you are doing this it may also be the other printers software interfering many printers use utility software that tells your ink levels and so forth these can take over the parallel port and not allow communication of any other printers or parallel devices)

Please advise of your setup on the Athlon machine in regards to what other devices are connected to what other ports and the other questions I asked above

Thank you
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Author Comment

by:PauserRJ
ID: 10813298
Thank you, Brian. I really appreciate all your attention. As I stated before, I bought my cable directly from HP. But it has no IEEE1284 printed on the cable or connectors. I'll try to find one that guarantees conformity to the IEEE1284 standard. My current HP cable is 6 feet long. After finding the right cable, I'll follow all the steps above and tell you how it worked asap.
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